The first place to look when beginning research on a topic is in reference material: specialized dictionaries, encyclopedias or handbooks. These allow you to check names, dates and places, find additional information, look up unknown terms, and check for the proper spelling of words. They are particularly helpful for finding basic background information on a topic, and are often the only place many students may need to look to find answers to their questions. They may include bibliographies (lists of additional materials on a topic, usually considered by the author to be the best materials on that topic) that you can use to find other materials.
Bernd Polster, Claudia Neumann, Markus Schuler, Frederick Leven. London: Merrell, 2006.
REF 745.403 A99p
"Each entry includes an informative profile, a biography or company history, and a product chronology, and is accompanied by colour photographs."--quoted from the front cover inside flap.
3rd ed. St. James Press, 1997. See also 1984 and 1990 edition.
REF 745.4492 C767 1997
Look here first for contemporary designers. Biographical and bibliographical information on designers. Some designers submit artist's statements or design philosophies.
Lidwell, William. Rockport, 2003.
REF 745.403 L619u
What is meant by "form follows function"? What is face-ism? What is iteration and how does it relate to design? Find out here.
Edited by Mel Schwartz. NY: J. Wiley, c2002.
REF 620.1103 En19s v.1-2
"The Encyclopedia of Smart Materials (ESM) contains the writings, thoughts, and work of many of the world's foremost people ... . The authors discuss theory, fundamentals, fabrication, processing, application, applications and uses of these very special, and in some instances rare, materials."--Preface, page v.
The University Libraries combine their holdings in one online catalog. Use the University Libraries catalog to find books, videos, CDs, scores, journal titles, etc. To locate all of the materials the library holds on a topic, it is most efficient to search by subject. These subject headings are standard and are used in most libraries.ARCHITECTURAL DESIGN
COLOR IN DESIGN
COMMUNICATION IN DESIGN
DESIGN AND TECHNOLOGY
DIFFUSION OF INNOVATIONS
ERGONOMICS--see HUMAN ENGINEERING
MODELS AND MODELMAKING
Periodical Indexes: Finding Articles
Periodical indexes are research tools that allow you to search for articles in magazines, journals and newspapers.
Go to the library's Article Databases and Indexes page for a list of the UArts Libraries' subscription databases. Not sure which one to try? Contact Sara MacDonald, UArts Public Services Librarian. Design is a very broad area, and there are likely several databases that would be useful.
I've found articles I want to read. Now what?
There are different ways to find an article once you retrieve a citation in the index:
- See if there is a link in the index you're using to a full-text article online and download it or e-mail it to yourself.
- Click the FindIt@UArts icon to see if our library holds the journal title. FindIt@UArts will also tell you if the full-text article is available in a different database.
- Use the interlibrary loan search tool, WorldCat, to request materials not owned by the UArts Libraries or to see what other libraries have the title you need.
When you find information on a topic, no matter what format it takes (book, journal, Web page), there are style manuals to show you the correct way to give cite those sources in a paper.
Searching the Web can be overwhelming. If you are using the Internet for research you want to choose sites that meet the standards of accuracy, currency and authority.
A super-site for design.
"The Design Management Institute is a membership organization that connects design to business, to culture, to customers, and to the changing world."
"The purpose of EDRA is the advancement and dissemination of environmental design research, thereby improving understanding of the interrelationships between people, their built and natural surroundings, and helping to create environments responsive to human needs."
"With Google Patents, you can now search the full text of the U.S. patent corpus and find patents that interest you. ‚All patents available through Google Patents come from the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Questions? Contact Josh Roberts, UArts Digital Initiatives & Systems Librarian.
The leading American professional organization for industrial design.
An amazing materials database. Limited to current UArts students, faculty and staff.
"The Materials Research Society (MRS) is an organization of materials researchers from academia, industry, and government that promotes communication for the advancement of interdisciplinary materials research to improve the quality of life." MRS has partnered with NOVA on a series called Making Stuff. Watch it on PBS.
From the National Institute of Standards and Technology, this is an extensive site that includes information and properties on many classes of materials, including ceramics, metals, polymers/plastics, and hybrid materials.
"The Product Development and Management Association (PDMA) is the premier global advocate for product development and management professionals. Our mission is to improve the effectiveness of individuals and organizations in product development and management."
"The U.S. Green Building Council is the nation's foremost coalition of leaders from across the building industry working to promote buildings that are environmentally responsible, profitable and healthy places to live and work." Extensive set of resources, including the Delaware Valley Green Building Council, the Philadelphia-area chapter.